Boarding Gate is one of the dullest films I've ever seen. Not only does nothing happen for around two hours, but that nothing is treated with tremendously undeserved reverance. Lingering shots of ship-yards are one thing, I quite like that approach to scene setting, but when the dialogue in a dialogue-heavy film drags for an eternity, you know the jig is up. The director and writer are the same tragic figure - Olivier Assayas - and he is in love with this film in the worst way.
Picture a friend of yours from school. He or she may have been a little on the chubby side, maybe he had particularly bad hair. Either way, they were not "a catch". They still had longings, however, and the object of their affection might have been as ugly as the back-side of a prefabricated building. What can you say to them? Nothing. You have to nod and say "Yeah, that troll is delightful, you guys have a great time together". Perhaps they might have little troll children one day, and be forever content. Two rutting trolls, riding around on top of each other for decades.
Olivier Assayas is just as in love with his own disgusting vision of the modern thriller as that kid from school is with the repugnant target of their desire. No-one can talk him out of it. No-one can convince him that whatever he was going for here, he missed it by around three billion miles. If this was meant to be some kind of Heat homage set against an ultra-modern global background, it failed so horribly that Assayas should be deported from the planet Earth entirely.
Sandra, played by the mono-expressioned Asia Argento is some kind of high-class tramp. She did drugs for a while, but she also went out with an increasingly bulky looking Michael Madsen turning in yet another growly head-turner of a performance (that's his head, not the audiences) in some seedy sexual relationship. She seems to work at a port as some kind of supervisor. Unlikely or what? How many hot Euro-trash whores do you know who have relationships with high-class businessmen by night, and shunt cargo by day? NONE. That's the honest answer. And what does she do? Get involved in some kind of drugs thing and end up killing someone and fleeing to Hong Kong.
The rest of the plot is very easily summed up, but it's not worth it because you might not want me to spoil it for you. I COULD spoil it for you explicitly and it would take about fifteen words, but I won't. I just want you to understand that FUCK ALL HAPPENS between minute one and minute god-knows-how-long. Nothing. Nothing at all. There's a great deal of faffing about, we meet a couple more characters, but that's really it. Asia Argento is apparently enough to hold our attention. Plot? BAH! Dialogue that doesn't feel like a word search on every B-Movie ever made? BE DAMNED! Anything happening at all? Nah. Let's just waste a ton of tape shooting things no-one cares about, like people riding escalators, or sleeping on a plane.
There's one good moment in the whole film (hint: it's when she finds her friend in the locked room), but fuck it. I am not even going to give this appalling waste of my time even a single star. I hated this film from start to finish, and I am a very forgiving man (read my review of The Principal if you don't believe me...go on do it)
Worse still is that Kim Gordon, bassist in my favourite band of all time, makes a cameo so appalling that it's not really a cameo. It's a gigantic thundercloud that you are trying to sunbathe around. You can't ignore it. It makes the whole thing seem even more amateur because as much as I love Kim Gordon - and that's a metric fuckton of love I got for KG - I despise her performance in Boarding Gate. DESPISE it. Assaysas has criticised the film establishment a good deal but what he's done is to get a mate of his in to do a cheap performance and decided to keep what she gave him. He put his heart waaaaaaay before his head, because the rest of the film is professionally made even if it is utterly contemptible. That cameo, though? It's a dead giveaway. This film was made for the director, not the audience, and that's his most critical error.
Do not waste your time. Any reviewers that give this a positive must either be mates of Assayas, or drunk. I tried getting drunk whilst watching this piece of shit but it just made me angry-drunk, not happy drunk. AVOID.